Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 1st 2010 11:39AM by Carl Atiya Swanson
One of the musicians to come up through the Saddle Creek Records family is Landon Hedges, who struck out on his own with his band Little Brazil. Made up of friends and musical acquaintances, the group is going strong with four records of guitar-driven indie rock under its belt. Gearing up for their fifth SXSW appearance, guitar player Greg Edds talked about the band's latest record, 'Son,' his style choices for the festival and why the band may have to fire its tour manager.
How did Little Brazil form?
Little Brazil started out of a solo project of Landon, our lead singer. He was playing [in] other bands like Desaparecidos and the Good Life in the early part of the decade, but he started playing solo, which would later turn in to Little Brazil. I joined with the drummer, Oliver Morgan, around the summer of 2004. Me and Landon and [bass player] Danny [Maxwell], we have known each other for years. Omaha[,Nebraska,] is a pretty small city. Even though it consists of a million people, everybody knows each other, and even though we're a couple years apart we still knew each other through skateboarding and the music scene.
Describe your sound.
Ours is kind of like an early '90s, mid-'90s college-rock genre. Kind of indie rock in its heyday, even though that term is warped and pretty much non-existent now.
What are your musical influences?
Well, I think when we were coming together, the music that was popular at the time was Built to Spill, Dinosaur Jr., Superchunk. That's what we were vibing on and that's what we were reflecting. I've noticed that lately that sound is kind of coming back through itself, like Pavement. We definitely get a lot of people who say they can hear the Superchunk influence, a little bit of the Replacements. We definitely wear those badges on our sleeves. Also Cursive and bands like that.
Where did the name come from?
Landon was on tour with Desaparecidos, and [Little Brazil is] an area in New York right off the beaten path of Times Square. It's a street that runs parallel to Times Square and it's pretty much a neighborhood. I know he recognized the name and just wrote it down, and it popped up years later. Every time we perform in New York we get a handful of people who show up thinking it's going to be traditional Brazilian music, and about half of those people are disappointed and half actually stay to enjoy the rock show.
If someone was to get just one of your records, which should it be?
I would say the last one that we just released this last year, 'Son.' It's one thing to write a song with a story inside it, but [it's another] to write a group of songs with one story, with a theme from beginning to end, and for the listener to get it and to relate to it. It's about family. Anyone can relate to growing up with a dysfunctional family or with divorced parents, sibling rivalry, anything like that. I think that's more common than heartbreak in a relationship.
Do you have any SXSW survival tips?
Extra cell phone batteries. That was the biggest problem for me in the past couple years. Cell phone batteries and secret stashes of cash that you can keep on your body that maybe the drunk version of you won't find. About two years ago I found myself wandering through to see Public Enemy, and I had a blast, and afterwards I noticed my phone was dead. I had left my wallet in my backpack in the van -- which was who knows where -- and all I had on me was an ID and a couple extra bucks. Luckily I ran into my current girlfriend and a good friend of the band on a street corner in Austin, and so I had a place to stay that night. Now I know why fanny packs are coming back in style. You don't want a man-bag because that's still too bulky, but I might dive into the fanny this time around.
What are the best and worst things about Omaha?
Omaha is so supportive of the arts scene, of the music scene. It's such a cheap and affordable city that it allows you to do what you want to do, no matter what that may be. You'll be struggling, but I think that if it wasn't for our own city, none of us would be doing what we're doing. The worst thing is definitely the weather this year. Jesus. We've got extremes in both winter and summer. We get the humidity that the south gets and we get the frigid Canadian air form the north. This year it's been a couple weeks of below zero and teens. When we get up to 30, I'm considering wearing shorts, because that's a heat wave.
The Beatles or the Stones?
That's going to be an argument in the van on they way down, I know it. Personally, I'm going to say the Beatles. We learned from them -- I personally learned from them from a musician's aspect. They are the bread and butter of all music to me. Pop music to rock music, they had it all. Maybe our tour manager, Mike, would say the Rolling Stones and we'd have to go ahead and fire him, or leave him at some gas station on the side of the road.
Carl Atiya Swanson is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.